Bigger Acts Don’t Give Us Opportunities – Cynthia Shalom | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bigger Acts Don’t Give Us Opportunities – Cynthia Shalom

Cynthia Shalom
Posted: Nov 4, 2016 at 7:12 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Hazeez Balogun

Cynthia Shalom is the 2015 winner of the reality show, Next Movie Star. She has featured in numerous productions since her emergence. In this chat with Hazeez Balogun, she talks about her struggles in the industry and her love for Majid Micheal.

A new Season of Next Movie Star is set to begin, how do you feel that your reign as winner of Next Movie Star is coming to an end?

I don’t know if I should say that I feel sad but at the same time I am happy because everything is about growth. I have won the Next Movie Star, it is time to move on to other things. I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part in the show and to eventually win. It was fun all the way. But it is time to move on.

What have you been doing since you won?

I have been on different projects. We just finished a big budget project called ‘Dear Diary’ which is a family sitcom. I also will be doing a movie next month. I was also on ‘So wrong so Wright’ with Bukky Wright. I did ‘Tales of Eve’ where I stared with Liz Benson and ‘An hour with the shrink’.

Before taking part in the show, you must have had a flair for show biz

Well, yes. Actually, I had been acting before I took part in Next Movie Star so I had a bit of edge in the show. But I was a bit jittery when I took the form to participate. I wanted to be sure that I was ready for it. I wanted to go in and come out as the winner. I thank God that happened. I am always afraid of failure. I find it hard to get over it when I do not win at anything I do.

So what is next for you now?

I want to seriously pursue my career. I want to be a great actor. I want to be an ‘A-lister’ like we call them in the industry.

Is there an actor that you look up to?

I admire Majid Micheal a lot. From him, I learnt a lot. I like his style and creativity when he acts. I really do watch him a lot and I learn from his every move, even if he doesn’t know this. I also like Mercy Johnson. She is one actor that can come down to play in the grassroots and also acts a big movie. She can switch easily, and that is a very great characteristic for an actor to posses.

How did your family take it when you said you were going to take part in a reality show?

They have always been in support of me from the beginning. My mum most especially was always in support and is always nudging me to even do more. Sometimes when I face challenges, she is the one to tell me to hang in there that it would soon be over.

It is almost like a broken record to say that sex is the easiest way for a lady to progress in the industry, did you face this?
What people do not know is that the male producers are getting bad publicity when it should be the other way round. I have never met a producer or director that asked for sex. Instead what I see around me are young girls that try to seduce producers. You see them hanging around them trying to get their attention. I think we should focus more on these girls and let them know that sleeping around will not get them anywhere.
When a director tells you “no, I cannot cast you for this job”, do not take that negatively. Do not look for other means to make him give you the job. Instead, take it as an opportunity to work more on yourself. Look for the reason you were rejected and work on it.

You are single, don’t you think that when you become a superstar, it might be hard to find a man who will genuinely love you for who you are and not for fame?
That is deep. But I have a good walk with God and I know that when the time comes He will give me a man who is my soul mate. I am not afraid of that at all.

Do you have a partner now?

I won’t tell you that. Say I am single and not searching.

When do you see yourself settling down?

I don’t want to say

What would you tell young actors and those trying to get into the industry?

It is not going to be a smooth ride. You also need to be humble and respectful. A lot of careers have ended even before they started just because the actor is not humble or respectful to those they met in the industry. Do not think because you get one or two roles you are the hottest cake in town. Be humble and make use of every opportunity.

What challenges did you face?

It is very hard for senior colleagues to give youngsters opportunities. So, I did work and fought for where I am today. And I am still working very hard. That does not mean there are not some who are very nurturing. Like when I acted with Liz Benson. She was very good to me and even gave me some pointers on how to do it better.

The pay for actors in Nigeria is not very good. It must be discouraging

It is. I think we should be able to earn as much as we work. We may not get paid like Hollywood but at least something to write home about. Some producers are fair, many others are not, but we just have to role with the punches. When you get to a stage you will not complain anymore.